Alternatives to psychiatry: a resource

BEYOND MEDS — ALTERNATIVES TO PSYCHIATRY — A RESOURCE

BeyondMeds-header1This blog documents and shares many natural methods of self-care for finding and sustaining health in body, mind and spirit. This blog also deals with wider issues in the socio/political and spiritual realms as they pertain to mental health and human rights issues surrounding psychiatry.

My own experience as both (now – ex) patient and a mental health professional allows for some interesting and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the mental health system in the United States.

The blog and the content has evolved over time. The archives reflect that.

For an introduction to the scope of this site in general there is a drop-down menu at the top of the page. I continue to work on presenting the archives for easy access. There are well over 4,000 posts on the blog now, many of which remain topical. It’s an ongoing job so the navigation menu is always under construction. Visiting often to check for additions.

This is a new article I highly recommend be read as an introduction to this blog: Stop taking your meds, right now… (NOT!)

A personal note to my readers — why I’m not available for correspondence..

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The archives of this blog now span close to five years. They are a record of a time in my life when I was learning and transforming at a rate unlike any other time in my life. I say this as a way of disclaimer. In the earlier years of this blog I am processing shock and dismay. In the early years I am undisputedly angry. I have worked out much of that and see things in a much less judgmental manner now. This continues to evolve. I sometimes want to take down old posts because they no longer convey how I feel, but I realize that they may still be helpful to people who are going through something similar now. The journey got me to where I am today, it’s just odd to have some of it in writing here for all to see.

See also: Who is this site for – Readers share what Beyond Meds has meant to them.

SEE: Beyond Meds Facebook page and Twitter, too

This blog began as a documentation of my journey off psychiatric medications. That thread remains as well.

This blog also serves as a source of critical information about psychopharmaceuticals. This aspect is not kept up to date as much as it was at one time but the archives remain full of such information.

Beyond Meds is not only for people who have been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder as the original URL seemed to suggest to some. As I say in my “Undiagnosing Myself” post I do not believe that the diagnosis of bipolar is terribly significant and I chose the original URL and original title of the blog to attract people who may have experiences like mine and believe themselves to be bipolar. (the current URL and title no longer reflect this, still many often consider, incorrectly, that this is a “bipolar” blog)

This blog may be appropriate for anyone with any psychiatric diagnosis. All psychiatric diagnosis can potentially respond to natural treatments and alternative perspectives. The biopsych model is at best controversial. There are many different ways to consider difficulties of the psyche.

So it’s also possible for anyone to consider life without medication. This blog is a contemplation about healing ourselves through means other than medication whether you’re on medications or not. And I might add whether you choose to stay on them or not.

Warning and Some thoughts to consider before deciding to reduce your medications and Stop taking your meds, right now… (NOT!) and The truth is often ugly

New video: Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: A Harm Reduction Approach | Will Hall

Along with documentation of my experience this blog covers the journeys to drug freedom of many other people as well as information and resources about alternatives to standard psychiatric care. It also covers the news about drugs that allow for consideration of other options. Often drugs are most useful in crisis, but not for long-term care. Once one is aware of options one has a real choice. I didn’t have such information to make a choice when I entered the mental health system. It’s my hope that I can help people see that there are choices and alternatives.

This site is in no way intended to be someone’s sole source of information for withdrawing from psych meds or for taking care of oneself with alternative means. I speak only from my own experience and am not offering advice that should be taken without professional help. That being said there is lots of information here that one could take to said professional. It is an unfortunate reality that most doctors know next to nothing about alternative treatments for psychiatric distress. I’ve had to educate my psychiatrist along the way and am grateful for his trust and respect.

My professional history:

I got my BA in Religious Studies at UC Berkeley. After graduation a San Francisco state MSW graduate friend of mine helped me secure an interview for a graduate internship program for social workers at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. After losing a close friend to AIDS I had worked in an AIDS hospice as a volunteer for a couple of years.  Once interviewed by the Foundation it was determined I was qualified to do the internship. I completed the program with social work graduate interns from UC Berkeley’s and San Francisco State University’s MSW programs. After that internship the San Francisco AIDS Foundation hired me on as a social worker on their front lines. The bulk of the population I worked with at the Foundation had significant psychiatric diagnosis. Later I took positions in mental health agencies. Because of my background my positions were generally filled by master level candidates. I worked side by side other social workers, therapists of all kinds and psychiatrists for many years. The clients were generally designated “severely mentally ill.”

My “patient” history:

The aftermath of polypsychopharmacology: my story on Dr. David Healy’s site (new) –this is the most complete short synopsis of having been grossly over-drugged and my path to drug freedom.

And now too a mini memoir at Mad in America: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

The above two pieces can serve as a mini history of my personal journey in and away from the psychiatric system.

For posts on Beyond Meds that are largely informed by my personal experience see:  Monica/Gianna personal journey

***The information provided on this site is educational and not intended to replace any treatment prescribed by a licensed physician. That said, finding knowledgable physicians can be like finding a needle in a haystack

Everyone’s journey to wellness includes different combinations of healing and healthy lifestyle practices. No two of us are the same.

Access to the archives can be found at the top of the blog via the drop down menus. 

Visit the Beyond Meds BOOKSTORE for books that cover the range of topics covered on the blog.

Navigate the archives

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. THANK YOU or make a donation with PayPal

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